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34 of Victims Were Americans; Bomb Suspected : 50 Hurt in Bar Blast Near U.S. Base in Greece

February 03, 1985|From Times Wire Services

ATHENS — An explosion ripped through a crowded bar Saturday night in a seaside suburb near the U.S. military base at the Athens airport, injuring at least 50 people, most of them Americans, Greek and American officials said.

A U.S. spokeswoman said the blast injured 34 Americans, seven of them seriously. She said 27 Americans were taken to the base hospital, mainly for treatment of cuts from flying debris. The more seriously injured victims were moved to local Greek hospitals.

A doctor at the Athens General Clinic said three U.S. service personnel and one American dependent had undergone surgery there for burns.

He identified the Americans as Mark Gordon, 35; Ervin Stewart, 30; Celeste Smith, a military policewoman at the base, and Brenda Burg, 30, the wife of a U.S. serviceman. He said Smith also had undergone surgery to remove a nail driven into her leg by the blast.

More than 1,500 U.S. servicemen are stationed with the 7206th Air Force Support Group at the airport, one of four U.S. military installations in Greece.

The blast occurred shortly before midnight at Bobby's Bar on the main square in the Glyfada suburb of the Greek capital. About 200 patrons were in the bar at the time.

Witnesses said the wooden facade of the building was destroyed and the interior was severely damaged.

A police spokesman said "It appears to have been a bomb," but a senior Athens security officer said that could not be confirmed and said it could have been a gas container that exploded.

No individual or group asserted responsibility for the blast, the first ever in a Glyfada bar.

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